Feature Article - January 2004
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Pool Profitability

Revenue-generating ideas to help keep your budget afloat

By Stacy St. Clair


Hyland Hills Water World knows what it takes to keep patrons coming back. The Colorado facility's creativity and keen business sense has helped it become the nation's largest publicly owned waterpark.

The 64-acre site has 42 attractions and 25,000 square feet of shaded structures. The park—which has won numerous awards for design and innovation—is the birthplace of the family water ride and the first themed, partially in-the-dark water ride.

The management adds a feature almost every year, including Storm in 2003. The million-dollar ride replicates a torrential downpour with amazing sound effects, replicas of toppled buildings and simulated thunder, lightening and wind.

Hyland Hills Park and Recreation officials came up with the concept during a brainstorming session with staff. The slide was then custom-built in keeping with their stormy theme.

"We're always looking at the industry and seeing what other parks are doing," says Joann Saitta, the district's marketing manager. "We've got some very creative people on our staff, and everyone's ideas are taken seriously."

The attraction, which proved wildly popular this past summer, is 700 feet long with a 60-foot vertical drop. It can handle nearly 1,000 people per hour.

The facility's commitment to new offerings has been enhanced by forward-thinking, cost-saving designs. The Storm, for example, was strategically placed to leverage the natural elevation and curvature of the land.

Officials intentionally built redundancy into a nearby pump so the ride easily could tap into to the pumps and share water with another attraction. The plan conserved roughly 150,000 gallons of water last season.

"That was a huge savings for us," Water World General Manager Steve Loose says.

The park's water conservation program is one of the most aggressive in the country. The rides have splash guards to keep water from spilling out, and the district has planted low-water use perennials in its award-winning floral displays.

"By saving water, we're saving money," Loose says.

As such, the park has become the conservation model for North American waterparks. It's a role Hyland Hills officials take seriously.

"We want to set the tone," Saitta says.

Good to the Last Drop
The Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District in Colorado has saved thousands of dollars with an aggressive water conversation program. Here's a look at how they've saved water—and money.
  • Using reclaimed water for landscaping, saving millions of gallons of water per year
  • Planting low-water use perennials and xeroscaping in park and award-winning floral displays
  • Appointing a district-wide water conservation task force to recommend and monitor water conservation at all district facilities, including Water World
  • Using artificial turf instead of grass where feasible
  • Serving bottled soft drinks has saved more than 30,000 gallons of water per year because the beverages are not being poured over ice
  • Installing splash guards to keep water in attractions
  • Installing a computerized, wireless-controlled irrigation system that automatically shuts down when rainfall occurs or when there is a damaged irrigation head that could waste water
  • Continuously looking for new ways to save water